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Mayerling is supposed to be a story of love and passion set in the backdrop of political turmoil in the austro-hungarian empire. The problem is there is very little passion in this movie. Catherine Deneuve, which I usually love, and Omar Sharif give such wooden performances that it is hard to imagine they would die of love. Ava Gardner is about as bad and James Mason does hardly better. Only James Robertson Justice and Genevieve Page seem to believe in what they are doing.
As far as the political story, you will not know very much more of the state of the empire after seing the movie. Characters drop by Omar Sharif once a while without enlightening us very much about their problems and goals. The only redeeming values are production values which are quite good. Better watch the original French movie with Charles Boyer and Danielle Darrieux.
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